Friday, August 24, 2012

An Open Letter but Mostly One to My Eldest Son

Disclaimer: If you are a male, this MAY not be a blog post you want to read. Then again, it might be. Perhaps you have something to learn from this discussion as well. But if you finish reading it and wish you had not, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Dear Eldest Son,
Today, my son, you may have noticed that I am a little short.  No jokes here. I know I'm always short.  I blame my mother for that.

Short tempered.
“Why is this?” you asked me. (Ok, you didn't really say it like that but I sometimes like to pretend that you speak perfect no one does).

“Well, I'm not feeling well.” 
“Oh, do you want me to make dinner?”

Startled beyond belief, I stammered, “No, it's ok…I have just about got it ready ...but thanks.”
Then you continued to amaze me, “Do you want me to find someone to bring me home from soccer so you don't have to stay?”

I stared at you for a second, struggling to discern if I had, in fact, blacked out and someone else was masquerading as you, “No, that's ok. I'll be fine.  But I appreciate you asking. What a sweet boy you are.”
I do want to take a moment and thank you, dear boy, for your concern and compassion.  I realized at this moment that we were really connecting and having a loving moment. I could truly see the mature young man you are growing up to be (or, in hindsight, maybe you were just a little scared).

So at this point in our conversation, I decided that you were old enough, and mature enough, for me to explain a couple things to you about women.  Not to disparage your father, but I was not 100% confident that he’d covered the “women’s role” of the physical science behind reproduction with you. I knew that the two of you talked, but it seemed like, perhaps, there were some holes in the conversation which needed to be filled. All that to say, it appeared that it was my turn at bat.
As I’m sure you will recall (mostly because you may be scarred for life), that I then proceeded to ask, “So have you ever noticed that sometimes I don't feel well.  Like, say, once a month?”

“Yeah, and you’re mad all the time.”  Apparently you have much to learn, young grasshopper.
I clenched my teeth and smiled really big (kind of a creepy smile that lets you know that you MAY have over-stepped your boundary…you know the one of which I speak, because you’ve pointed it out before: “Mom, that smile is a little creepy.”). 

Then I said, “Well, I don’t think I’m angry ALL the time…I think it’s more like I get angry for a minute or two and then cool off. And it happens often.”

Fortunately for you, we’ve previously met and you read my face; and you quickly nodded that that was the case. "No, not 'angry all the time' as previously asserted..just sometimes."  By the way, I could tell you were lying but I thought it best for both of us that I let it go.
I proceeded to tell you about the physical changes which occur in a woman’s body and why it happens. And how it makes her feel. I did spare you the hormone discussion; I simply told you that the pain and discomfort were what cause the crabbiness. (Which they don’t make things better…I will tell you that much!) But they aren’t completely to blame.

I could discern by the look on your face…which alternated between horror, disgust, and a little disbelief…that maybe it was time to pull the rip cord on the discussion for now, to pick it up again in the future. There would be ample opportunity for another conversation. Like, say, in 28-30 days from now.
All this recap to say, my dear, that there is one last thing I didn’t tell you. I know, my sweet boy, that I would be remiss if I neglected to tell you this one last bit of information. I don’t ever want you to be able to say, “Nobody told me!” So here it is in black and white, for all the world to see:

The scariest thing I did not tell you, my son, is this: You will NEVER escape this. This curse is not just for me…it is for ALL us ladies. I guarantee your wife will be affected too. So learn what you can now. Good luck and Godspeed!

Editor’s Note: For those of you who know my 11yo, and may be stroking out that I posted this, I did obtain his verbal permission. As he is so tender-hearted and I would NEVER seek to embarrass him, I did ask him to read this and discuss it with me before I posted. That being said, I still would probably NOT mention this to him if I were you.  :)

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